Toño Guadarrama, former student of the Master of European Design Labs 2008, presents his most recent work, Closer. This tray also serves as a container for food and drink, designed with the objective of improving social relationships.
I got the idea in Japan, after comparing various elements of Japanese culture from my point of view as a Mexican, Guadarrama confirms, adding that Mexicans are known for being very physical with each other; we show signs of affection whenever we can. However, we are mentally a very individualistic society that focuses more on our own personal objectives rather than what is best for the group.
On the other hand, the designer thinks that Japan is a society that exhibits very few values of individual development and focuses much more on the collective whole. It is very important to be part of the group in this culture. Nevertheless, although the Japanese are mentally closer among themselves, they don’t feel as sure of themselves with physical expression, he confirms.
After this initial analysis, he decided to focus his research on exploring the situations in which people can achieve both mental and physical closeness, thus promoting community values, as a concept that inspires individuals to work together towards a better future.
To achieve his objective, the young designer has created a product (for right-handed and left-handed people) that redefines the space we use to eat. I literally put the table in your hands to give you freedom in your own personal space, Guadarrama explains.
The design captures the essence of traditional Japanese plates, inspired by the honest shapes and beauty of its textures and colors. The combination of these aesthetic elements with new functionality makes this project a unique reinterpretation of Japanese artisan craftwork.
The Mexican designer is currently exploring how to optimize the creative process to make it more flexible, a method he developed in his final project for the Master of European Design Labs 2008. I am interested in studying systems that allow me to explore new ways of thinking, he concludes.